Feedback on a few bikes to compare ( Coming from 26er )-
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  1. #1
    Reputation: aedubber's Avatar
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    Apr 2011

    Feedback on a few bikes to compare ( Coming from 26er )

    Hello guys and gals , I have taken a long break from riding and i finally am ready to pick it back up after a few injuries and life journeys. I have owned a Specialized Demo 8 , Enduro , Kona Operator , Giant Trance , Giant Glory , and a Knolly chilcotin all 26er wheels. Being on the east coast and ridden in NJ , NY , CT , VT , MA , PA , and NH i have ridden a lot of trails and bike parks.

    I have moved to Dallas, TX and the terrain here is different for sure but fun. I am not looking to ride hardcore , more for fitness and fun. I am looking for a fun all around bike with travel of 140-160mm. I like to have enough room for downhill fun and smooth rides but yet something that will climb decently. I have been doing some research and the bike scene has changed a lot ( in a good way ). I am looking for some help / advice / feedback from riders that have experience with some of these bikes i am interested in and what bikes they have come off of to compare and the terrain they ride.

    Not in a specific order but here is a list of bikes i am keen on:

    YT Jeffsy 29 CF Comp
    Santa Cruz 29 Hightower
    Ibis Ripmo AF 29
    Giant Reign 29
    Kona Process 134 29
    Commencal Meta TR 29

    Probably beating a dead horse but if you look at my last threads or replies i have been out of the game for a long time lol . ANY feedback is appreciated. Im not in a rush to buy just yet either. Im looking for a GOOD well balanced bike and to stay within a reasonable price point as well.

  2. #2
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    May 2009
    I LOVE my Reeb Sqweeb handmade in USA and they will customize anything you want!
    29er 160 front 145 rear...checks all the boxes

  3. #3
    Reputation: Cotharyus's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    The Hightower is a bike I rode in its last version (haven't ridden the new one yet) and it got on my short list to buy. The problem was it was maybe a little more travel than I really felt like I needed for an every day bike. But it was a good ride. I ended up with a Trance 29 - I think it's in the sweet spot for me. As such, I'd have to predict the Reign is very good. I've ridden one of those two sizes too small around a parking lot and down some steps, and it seemed pretty predictable. Both of those bikes should be fairly easy to find demos for. The rest...good luck on demos. But if I were you, I'd for sure want to get a leg over those bikes before you buy them. Maybe you have some local shops with some of the other bikes in a demo or rental fleet?

  4. #4
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    Reputation: MSU Alum's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Of the bikes on your list, the only one I'm familiar with is the Ripmo. My son went from a 26" Reign to the Ripmo and loves it. I'm on the Trance 29, which is right for me, but he rips more than me and his riding has gone off the scale, climbing and descending on the Ripmo.

    We both ride in Utah. 140-160 is huge travel for a 29er, and you just may not need that much.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: sturge's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    I'm a long time New England rider and have done FS since 2001. Up until a couple of years ago my sweet spot was around 140 travel but newer geo changed all that. Bigger travel bikes are no longer 'downhill specific' and current Kona 153 is a great far the most capable bike I've ever had (153 rear / 160 front).

    I've spent some time in TX (work related - mostly East coast) but never got riding there. More hills as you head inland so I'm sure there's some decent terrain around Dallas but probably a little less technical and flatter than NE riding. If it was me I would be thinking about going back toward 130-140.
    12 Santa Cruz Heckler
    18 Kona Process 153 AL/DL (27.5)...:thumbsup:

  6. #6
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post

    We both ride in Utah. 140-160 is huge travel for a 29er, and you just may not need that much.
    Hugely important point. I did the 6" travel 29er enduro thing for a while. I've also ridden Texas extensively, Dallas, Austin, SA, others. I've never felt like taking my current 6" bike there, there's just not enough vertical terrain relief. A 120mm 29er would be just about perfect IMO, something you can over-fork a bit that can take some pounding if you want to get a bit gnarly in Austin and that lift-park, like an Evil. Maybe, just maybe, split the difference and go with a 140mm rear travel, but I'd think seriously about that first. There just isn't much vertical around there, unless you are using said bike for big bike-vacations in CO and other places. Even 140mm of travel is a pretty massive amount. I'm heading for Dallas in 2 weeks and I take my 120/100 bike. Could use just a tiny bit more travel in the rear, but anything significantly more (like 140-160) will just slow me down more than it'll help on those few short downhills. The 29er wheels will provide most of the roll-over advantage. IMO, 140mm, on a 29er, will be plenty for "DH fun", unless you are hitting some seriously gnar terrain, and even then with 140 you wouldn't be at a big disadvantage. The other thing to consider is shock tuning. I'd rather have 140mm with a tuned shock, or tuned coil shock, than 160mm of stock travel. Then I get the benefit of the shorter travel (more efficient) and a shock that punches above it's supposedly travel-class, so the bike handles rougher terrain as if it had more travel. Quality of travel is better than amount of travel IME. So a 120mm or 140mm travel Evil with a Push 11-6 would be far better than a 160mm bike with stock-anything IME.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  7. #7
    Reputation: aedubber's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    Thank you for the feedback and all the great points yall touched on. This will be my everyday type of bike, meaning traveling to other states and using it on more techy trails with more elevation etc. I know sometimes that extra travel is overkill for TX but id like to have a little extra. I dont race , just more so fitness and fun.

    I have been doing a lot of research and im really sold on the newer high tower , kona, and YT. I will keep my options open of course, and will try to get a leg over as many bikes as i can.

  8. #8
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    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
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    May 2012
    I have a carbon Ripmo as my big bike and both 100mm XC bike and HT singlespeed. I ride mostly in deserts around Phoenix, but also in places around the state. The Ripmo has proven to be a really good climber on technical sections. On steep smooth climbs it does pretty well, but can't match the lighter and more efficient XC bikes I have. Still it climbs well enough to still be fun and does well on the descents. I have not looked at all the bikes you listed, but I can say that some will descend better, but I doubt any will climb better.

    I use my Ripmo for big chunky trails with steep techy ups and steep gnarly downs. It can work on more mellow XC trail pretty well, but is not ideal for them. To me it more of an all around bike that I expected when I got it, but I have hard time recommending it as an "all arounder" unless you everyday trails have lots of steeps and rocks. However I come from a smaller bike perspective and this by far my biggest bike that I really ride. (I did have mid 2000's free ride bike for a while, but that was tank, 46lbs and climbed like crap). Most of my riding miles has been on smaller travel bikes or HT. I will say however this bike is actually really fun and while it makes me seek out big terrain it does not feel like it penalizes me too much if I am more mellow stuff. It is shockly nimble for such a large bike. You are looking at the AF which is about 2lbs heavier than carbon version with same build spec.
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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